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Thursday, 11 February 2016

THE METAPHOR OF GOD IN DOLLY PARTON’S ‘TWO LOVERS’

THE METAPHOR OF GOD IN DOLLY PARTON’S ‘TWO LOVERS’
To the glory of God we are beloved, not that we first love Him but He first loved us according to that Apostle in that Epistle. The song evidently from the title deals with love. If love isn’t God we know that God is love. First of all, since I seem to have chosen The Way, controversy about love songs must be settled. Do I listen to love songs? Why not? I mean yes, I do. Love songs aren’t the same as lust songs or sex songs or sensual songs with sultry moves and shows. In fact, I can sing love songs. Thank God for that king He favoured with wisdom with which he made Proverbs, Sermons, Riddles, and Songs. If Parents evidently practice romance and love- evident to their children then there’s no need to censure love songs. If parents don’t practice such they’d better redefine their relationship and attitude (towards each other). Of course, there’s always a caveat against inordinateness. So, there must be caution and wisdom in all things- moderation being prioritised as the Spirit is leading us except our consciousness and pride in morality and the Creed are lost. For certain, Dolly Parton’s ‘Two Lovers’ clearly metaphorically depicts God as a loving God. Then, it’s a matter of the mind how we respond to things for out of the abundance of the heart comes the voluntary reactions to stimuli.
The persona or speaker in the song expresses her emotion as she is in love with ‘two lovers’. The first lover is described as sweet, kind and good. That is, the first lover is normally lovable. The other lover is bad and sort of a tormentor. That is, this lover isn’t really a lover neither is he lovable. At this point we see two different lovers: the good lover and the bad one. The persona asserts that she isn’t ashamed of loving both persons equally.
Traditionally, we can easily take the singer’s sex for the speaker’s sex. In that case, the speaker is a lady. We, however, can only emphatically tag the speaker as a female because such is indicated in the song. On the one hand there are two different people. The two lovers are discussed with masculine pronoun, ‘he’. So, the speaker, naturally normally, without any consideration for biological rationalisation, is a woman. This is necessary because the female gender is associated with love, emotion, passion and care. There’s no ignorance here that these attributes categorisation are unacceptable to feminists, especially the radical ones. The attributes are gender stereotypes. Perhaps, they are true- realistic- naturally normally. Perhaps? No, not perhaps! It’s got to be definitely. In that regard, the persona’s gender isn’t the real focus but the symbol it stands for- LOVE- that which God is.
On the one hand, God is really of Justice. So, there’s always fairness and rightness in Him. The lovable will be loved. But to God, who is really lovable except for His grace? On the other hand, God is really of mercy. So, there is always favour and grace in Him. The unlovable will still be loved.
So, the speaker here can be seen as God and the lovers as men. Men, since the consumption of the forbidden fruit have become capable of both good and evil in unequal proportion, actually. Nevertheless, God still loves humanity. In Christian terms, God loves sinners, God loves saints. Saints should come first? Yes, that’s true. But the speaker being considered loves ‘them both the same.’
The case of the people of Nineveh proves that God does not delight in the destruction of sinners. Jonah is favoured to be in the category of the ones already made lovable. So, he doesn’t care if the sinners perished. That’s the essence of this paper. Most people are Jonahic. They’d be displeased if sinners after all errors repented and are pardoned. That’s not kindness, we must know! The Master said He came to call sinners to repentance. But many ignore them and wish them destruction, in fact, in anticipation. We are made to know of the joy in heaven when a sinner repents. Then how can we not love sinners to change and become beloved- fellow saints?
We can argue that God said that He loved Jacob and hated Esau. Even Paul said that on this statement we cannot question God. We should just know that He is unquestionable. He indeed is unquestionable. Be it forbidden that we imagine questioning God’s acts! The point, however, is that the speaker loves both good and bad lover. Esau isn’t hated in that statement because he’s bad. Jacob isn’t loved because he’s good. Truth be told, Esau is among the ones Father love so much that He gave His Son as a redemptive lamb.
Do we not wonder how God who supported Sarah that Abraham should send the boy away is the one who still loved and cared for the boy by sending His angel to the mother? He that said I love those who love me is the one who said I will call them my people who aren’t so. God is depicted with the speaker-symbol of love as the one who loves everybody. So, if some THINK God loves them because of their being lovable, that is God’s Justice. Nevertheless, God still loves those who SEEM unlovable. That is God’s mercy. The speaker loves the one that treats ‘him’ bad; Jesus loved and prayed for forgiveness for those who were killing him.
The singer suspended the suspense in the end when she made the persona to reveal that the two personalities are in one person. So, now, on the other hand, there is just one lover exhibiting two-type traits of men- the bloodline of Adam and Eve who consumed the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What must we learn here? We should learn that love expects all things. Love covers all sins. Love loves and forgives. Love does not harm. It then means that every child of God isn’t going to suffer hatred when he or she errs. That is why it is written that little children should not sin (sin is forbidden) but if they sinned, there’s an advocate with the father. He is our righteousness. That is, the speaker in the song is Love that loves and so, has become the righteousness of both lovers such that ‘He’ cannot stop loving them both the same. ‘He’ sees only ‘His’ righteousness and overlook the bad one’s badness in the hope that of repentance and change.
No woman, not even Audrey in 24: 4 in dialectical tension between Bauer and Paul can love two men the same. Oya didn’t love the man, Ogun the same way she later loved the man, Sango. But Father is doing everything he can, first to make sinners recognise Him as their love. Second, Father is doing everything He can to make the saints who rebel as the ‘prodigal son’ to recognise His love and willingness to accept them back.
Furthermore, we must not conclude without asseverating the point that father disciplines an erring child, kindly, all because whom He loves He disciplines. So, His love (even to love the unlovable) isn’t a permit to walk in errors. It is rather, His prove that He does not deal with us according to our sins because he knows our frame and frailty. Christians, at the point of confession in salvation are newly born (of the Spirit). So, the Spirit is the first lover that is good, sweet, kind and treating the speaker goodly. The soul is the second lover that is bad, hurtful and uncaring, treating the speaker badly. The good news is that the soul is being renewed. The father looks beyond the present status of the soul and knows the eventual status when His ‘the perfecting of the saints’ would be finally done.  
In sum, Dolly Parton has used the song to convey the message that there’s nobody that cannot be loved. The fact that the speaker isn’t ashamed shows that there’s no apology for loving people regardless of their being good or bad. Critically, the song employs the attributes of charity to show that there’s no condition for loving people. In fact, everybody is capable of causing joy or grief. Capability, however, isn’t activity, just an indication of possibility.

"Two Lovers"

Well I've got two lovers and I ain't ashamed
Two lovers and I love them both the same

Let me tell you 'bout my first lover
He's sweet and kind, he's mine all mine
He treats me good like a lover should
And makes me love him
I really really love him
Oh oh oh oh I love him so
And I'll do everything I can
To let him know

But I've got two lovers and I ain't ashamed
Two lovers and I love them both the same

Let me tell you 'bout my other lover
You know he treats me bad, he makes me sad
He makes me cry but still I can't deny
That I love him
I really really love him
Oh oh oh oh I love him so
And I'll do everything I can
To let him know

Oh but darling, well,
Don't you know that I can tell
Whenever I look at you
That you think that I'm untrue
'Cause I said that I love two
But I really really do

'Cause you're a split personality
And in reality
Both of them are you

But I've got two lovers and I ain't ashamed
Two lovers and I love them both the same
I've got two lovers but I ain't ashamed
'Cause both of them are you
I've got two lovers and I ain't ashamed, no
Two lovers and I love them both the same
I've got two lovers, two lovers
And both of them are you

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